Fear, Faith, and Letting Go – Part 1

Good morning, dear Reader. I’ve been lying here for a good 45 minutes wondering where this so-called thunderstorm is that Weatherman Ron promised me. I’m one of those weird girls who loves me some good thunder and lightning, and this drizzle crap just isn’t gonna cut it. 

My need to control the weather is a great little segue into today’s post. We are just a few short weeks from ending February and wrapping up the topic of letting go of the need to control everything. I, the good little INTJ/Virgo combo, like order and structure, so you can probably imagine just how hard it is for me to practice what I preach when it comes to ‘trusting the process’. Letting go of the idea that I must control everything isn’t easy; I work at it daily. Just yesterday at work there was a big ol’ mess. It was incredibly frustrating because I didn’t create it, but I am responsible for fixing it. I wanted to wring the necks of the two parties pointing fingers at each other (It’s her fault; it’s his fault). It took every ounce of energy I had to not scream, “It’s both your fucking faults because you are both fucking idiots.” But, alas, I don’t think that displays much leadership, and two, I’m afraid if I continue to point out their incompetence, I’ll end up doing their jobs, too. So, I zipped my mouth and just trusted that the path to rectifying this entire mess would be the best route for me.

If you, like me, hold onto control for dear life and attach yourself to outcomes, then today’s post is for you. So, grab a drink and settle in. Let’s go into that a bit deeper. 

Like this mess at work, I would always push for things to happen the way I wanted them to go. I very much like to run the show. I know, in my heart, that things go much more smoothly when I allow everything to unfold naturally rather than forcing the outcome. I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan. I’m just saying maybe being attached to the outcome is really what is stirring the shit pot. You know?

To open ourselves up to many possibilities, we have to trust that we are okay no matter the circumstances. When we attach ourselves to what we deemed was the “right” path, these possibilities aren’t easy to see. Often, the direction we so desperately want to go is not the most valuable or productive one.

So why let go of the need to control everything? Well, for one, high blood pressure can lead to a stroke – so, there is that. But that’s a bit extreme. How about this: Letting go of control means more joy, freedom, peace, connection, and support.

I’ve drafted up ten ways to let go and surrender, but we are only gonna cover five here today. I’ll create a second post with the other five…you know…to keep you hanging. Let’s get started: 

1. Use imagery. When I start to notice my jaw clenching and my energy swept up into the vortex known to me as ‘the perfect outcome’, I start imagining other possible optimistic scenarios. In other words, using imagery can be the proverbial ‘Plan B’. I could quickly think of all the negative ones, too, but that’s not always helpful. If you think it might be then read on… 

2. Make a ‘fear’ list. The need to control the outcome is a huge source of anxiety for many of us, and most anxiety is rooted in fear. So, using the technique opposite of my first point, I ask myself, “What am I most afraid will happen?” We try to control things because we are scared about what might happen if we don’t. I once read that 90% of the things we worry about never come to fruition. That’s a ton of wasted energy, don’t you think?

3. Be present in the moment. The need to control (and the anxiety it brings with it) is all future-based. And, newsflash, ain’t none of us able to control the future. So, repeat after me: Presence conquers all. With presence, you can embrace gratitude. There is trust and faith that you will be taken care of by something more significant than you if you assume gratitude and live in the present moment. 

4. Get grounded. I know this is a very ‘hippie’ thing for me to say. Still, if you feel the need to control your environment, you live in a space that has yet to happen (i.e. “the future”). You have already attached yourself to expectations and set yourself up for disappointments. Focus on grounding yourself. Instead of sitting in front of your television, your phone, or computer try taking a walk in nature, calling a friend, or getting out of your home or office. I simply like to sit outside and listen to the birds and wind. The full moon last night offered a great backdrop for this grounding exercise. No birds, but definitely a few bats, and a lot of peace and quiet.

5. Embrace trust. Trust means belief. And belief means you honor and respect yourself. This is where your self-worth comes in, and you can let go of the need to control. I can tell you a million times to ‘trust the process,’ but it takes one brave muthafucka to actually do it. Are you willing to be brave?

I have more to share, but I need to close out this post today, so we’ll continue this over a drink in my next post. As always, I’m leaving you with a song – even though, clearly, only one of you ever listens to these things (#stats), but whatever. I’ve never been much of a Pearl Jam fan, but maybe that’s because I never heard this song until I searched for one to share with you today. I see another playlist in my future. So, yeah…Enjoy!

PS…If you loved this post and thought others might, too, then I’m shamelessly gonna ask you to share it on social media. Thank you!